Saturday, 19 October 2013

New ‘customer hub’ planned as council releases staggering figures that show Northumberland saw £704m boost to county economy through tourism

Northumberland’s Labour group and the Council’s Business Chair Scott Dickinson today welcomed the news that the county economy had received a much needed £700m boost from tourism in the last year (figures released by Office of National Statistics) and set out their pledge to ‘invest in Berwick and to help the town take a bigger slice of the ‘tourism pot’.
They also revealed that they were ‘actively scouting’ potential locations for a new council service centre which has been dubbed a ‘customer hub’. The new ‘hub’ is expected to mean over 80 council employees will return to the town centre bringing with it an estimated boost of £13m to the local economy.
One location believed to under consideration is the town’s redundant ‘Kwik Save’ site. The Business Chair Councillor Dickinson also revealed that the council have also started looking closely at a potential site to allow visiting coaches from across the country (and Scotland) to park up and spend some time in the town. The move to introduce parking for coaches is welcomed by the town’s Chamber of Trade as a ‘chance to increase footfall and spending in the town’s shops’. Councillor Dickinson is also exploring how the council can make it easier for local businesses to bid for council contracts as part of what he called ‘delivering Labour’s promises made at the last election.
Scott Dickinson who is the Labour councillor for Druridge Bay said
‘We promised at the last election that we would try to breathe life into the county town centres and this is the start of delivering the promise. We’ve given the powers to town council’s like Berwick to offer free parking to attract shoppers, we’re actively looking at possible sites to locate a ‘customer hub’ which will mean the council will be less remote and local economies will see a boost to footfall and we’re committed to providing a dedicated coach space to allow coaches parties from around the country to sample the delights of Berwick. We’ve also agreed in principle, a scheme which will see the signage around the town ‘refreshed’ and we’re determined that we’ll help the town ‘grab a slice of Northumberland’s £700m tourism pie’.

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